Posted tagged ‘unknown knowns’

Known knowns

November 22, 2011

An unlikely local government inspiration?

We love local government loves a guest post and today we are delighted to have one from an old friend of the blog. Today’s (s)he channels Donald Rumsfeld to ask how often we, as local government workers, really ‘know’ what we thing we know. It’s a good challenge and one well worth five minutes of your time. Enjoy!

I was reminded this week of the time before Miss Guest Blogger and Master Guest Blogger came along that Mrs Guest Blogger and I used to enjoy a lie in on a Sunday morning and listen to Eddie Mair presenting Broadcasting House on Radio 4.  My favourite part of this was always the Donald Rumsfeld soundbite of the week, which amazingly you can find archived here.  The most popular one of these was his known knowns quote which you can see here and here.

It is funny to say but he had a point which I was reminded of when listening to the coverage of the Euro crisis at the moment and the over use of the word uncertainty.

This led me to ponder; how much do I actually know as opposed to how much I think I might know? To quote Rumsfled what are my real ‘known knowns’?

Too often we think that we know more than we do.  The best part of the PRINCE2 Project Initiation Document proforma for me was always the ‘assumptions’ section, and it was largely the worst completed as people struggles to think about what they already thought.